He was already familiar with the words coming out of his Aunt’s mouth “why wouldn’t you try some more? You aren’t totally dumb now or are you?” He had forgiven her in advance, she didn’t mean the words, and his repeated failings had made her say those words.
“Almost” was his thing. He had begun to pride himself in it lately. At least he almost got the answers right most of time. He was always so close to finishing the book before it was time up. Almost done with his chores before Mum returned from the market; he had come a long way.
Then he met her, she was sophisticated and well spoken. Beautiful and her stare the day she first said, ‘how are you?’ had made him answer more honestly than he could ever recall doing to anyone. Somehow she had developed an interest in him and he looked forward to recounting his activity to her daily. She listened with keen interest and her fixated gaze and blue eyes made him give details like he was already transparent.
Today was different; she didn’t seem as playful as she usually was. Her hair wasn’t packed as usual. Roy had picked a corner in her house to keep from bothering her as she didn’t look herself. The project had been almost completed but it was missing two ingredients he couldn’t figure out. As if reading his thoughts, she says, ‘Whoa this beautiful, I knew you could do it’. ‘Really,’ I asked. ‘Yes, she replied, you are so gifted, I am so proud of you’. Overtaken by emotions, he packed up the project, gave her a peck on her forehead and wished her a quick recovery.
He had stood by the tree across his house all morning watching people come and go out of her house afraid to approach them to find out what he already knew. His mum tapped him on the shoulder quietly and confirmed his suspicion, ‘Aunty Ena slept and didn’t wake up this morning, I know you were very fond of her, I am so sorry’. Before she tries to hug him he rushes into the house leaving her confused. Grandma Ena was a warm neighbor and everyone loved her. Though in her 80s, her gait and demeanor was like a lady in her 30s.
He hurriedly places his project on his reading table and recalled her words, finally he had figured it out! He smiled as he envisioned her smiling, then he allowed the tears flow naturally. She didn’t leave without giving him the biggest gift. With her warmth she helped him see himself differently and in one sentence she had said so many things he would never forget, he had heard love, believe and hope. He was never going to be satisfied with ‘almost’ again. He had been awakened by the power of one woman’s faith in him.
Find someone to empower today with your believe in them. Verbalize it and never underestimate it’s power!